On Friday, September, 28, 20 students and 5 adults, gathered for a night under the stars. The only items we allowed students to bring were a Bible, a flashlight, and a sheet. Students could not bring cell phones, blankets/comforters, pillows, or other electronic devices. A member of our church provided the boxes.
To get the night started, we watched a video, provided by Sweet Sleep, explaining what the night was about. Then we proceeded to play a couple of games, in hopes the students would expend their energy – we played Elimination Dodgeballl and had a Pillow Dueling (ironic, since they could not have pillows; believe me, they were locked away after the game was over). After game time, walked around the outside of the church to the other side of the church to pick up our boxes. Each one of us took our boxes to the back parking lot of the church; our final destination. Before we settled down for the evening, we had a time of worship, individual quiet time, and snacks.
For snacks, the students had to walk around the outside of the church again. When we arrived at our destination, we feasted on saltine crackers, peanut butter, and tap water. We spared no expense when it came to snacks! After snack time, we all walked back to “camp” to settle down for the evening. By this time, it was about Midnight.
Sleeping on a cardboard box, and only having a sheet, when it was cold was a challenge. Throughout the night, I kept waking up, as I was sliding off of my box. I must have slept better than I thought because I had students who would come up to me and ask if they could go to the restroom – we did let them go to the bathroom inside the church; however, from what others have said, I did not wake up to acknowledge these students. At one point I woke up – I think it was about 3 am – and it was foggy and the dew was getting heavy as it was falling on my sheet. I was excited to see 6:00 am come.
After we awoke, at least those who slept thru the night, we had our morning quiet time. We concluded with a time of debriefing for the purpose of seeing what the students’ experience was like and how did God use this in their lives. We did not serve breakfast!
This was a great event for our students. It gave them a dose of reality. This night enabled them to see how a vast majority of children live each day throughout the world. It challenged them to think about the comforts and conveniences they have compared to what little, if any, comforts and conveniences most children have throughout the world. It enabled them to see how blessed they were and how could be a blessing to others!
As a result of this event, our students raised about $1100 and our church is going to match what our students raised. As a result, over 40 children in northern Uganda will receive bed kits.
Thank you Sweet Sleep for giving our students this opportunity! What a night to remember!
Minister to Students
Red House Baptist Church
Richmond, KY 40475